By Chrissa Hardy

9 happiness lessons we can all learn from dogs

Tags Living Happier


how to be happier

Dogs understand the world better than humans. There, I said it. Actually, the lack of verbal communication might be working to their advantage, because somehow, the canine population has a much better grasp on how to achieve complete happiness more so than any human I’ve ever met. We analyze, we obsess, we complain, and we live in that destructive cycle following every interaction. We also doubt our own potential and we constantly let fear get in the way of what we want. Dogs don’t have time or interest in any of that.

Dogs live in the moment and they love harder than any other species. Sure, they don’t have jobs or make money, or have the ability to live 80+ years so there are obviously some aspects of life that dogs cannot fathom. However, the way they live in their short time on this planet is truly a beautiful practice in unwavering enthusiasm. There are lots of lessons we could all learn from dogs, and when it comes to being happy, here are the most important ones.

  1. They Don’t Overthink Anything

They are blissfully unfazed by an awkward interaction, a clumsy misstep in front of a pack of other dogs, or their strange reaction to the sound of the vacuum. They just live, never caring what others think. You know how people say, “just do you,” when they’re encouraging you to be yourself? Yeah, dogs started that whole thing.

  1. They Love With Reckless Abandon

Canines are the most unselfish companions on the face of the Earth. It’s never about them, it’s always about you. They never read into anything, they never judge you, and they will never abandon you. If that’s not the definition of ‘ride or die’ then I don’t know what is.

  1. They Get How Wonderful Food Is 

Dinner time for them, just like for us, is the best time of the day. Dogs are never happier than when their bowls are filled. And their food is pretty gross. It’s bland, doesn’t change from meal to meal, and is typically of icky consistency. But they wag and twirl and hop when dinner time comes. Just like most humans when faced with a heaping bowl of mac and cheese.

  1. They Know the Value of a Good Nap 

When they aren’t playing or eating, they are sleeping. We really need to take after them on this one. Humans, especially in America, are overworked, sleepy zombies sucking down caffeine as quickly as we can pour it because otherwise, we’d fall asleep in public places. Dogs lay down and shut their eyes the moment they feel a bit worn out. Oh dogs, we envy you.

  1. They Aren’t Afraid to Get Dirty (Or Clean)

If prancing through a mud puddle looks appealing to dogs, they prance away without any concerns of needing a bath or tracking dirt inside or stained fur. They do what they want and don’t worry about minor consequences.

  1. They Know How to Make New Friends Better Than Anyone

Watching dogs interact with other dogs is truly an amazing visual experience. They aren’t shy, but they don’t latch on to every pooch that crosses their path, either. They approach, they trade sniffs, and sometimes they’ll take a moment to play, but if there’s no connection, they move on with their lives immediately. No hard feelings and no rejection, ANYWHERE.

  1. They Appreciate Quiet Things

Motorcycles, fireworks, loud music from the neighbors upstairs – yeah, they aren’t thrilled with any of that. Everyday life is naturally pretty loud, so all quiet time should be cherished as a rare escape from the madness.

  1. They Tolerate Lots of Silly Nonsense for Their Loved Ones

They will let you dress them, they will let you wrap them up in 500 blankets until they look like an ultra cozy burrito, and they’ll even let you put shoes on their paws despite how G-D awkward it feels. They love you and will do anything to make you smile. That is love.

   9. They Never Give Up

Do you think a dog with cancer knows it has a life threatening disease? Even if they’re aware of the fact that they’re sick and something’s wrong, they can’t comprehend the weight and terror of a terminal diagnosis, and they certainly don’t throw in the towel and stop fighting. They take everything, even the really scary stuff, one day at a time. Because that’s all they can do. And they know that no matter what happens, a life filled with loved ones to snuggle and bowls filled with food is a life to be cherished and celebrated, regardless of what happens the next day.

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